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Burgeoning Population Growth

Updated on January 16, 2015
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Impact of Population Growth and Why it is Necessary to Urgently Act on This Issue

Food Supply:

A study conducted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization found that the population in 64 out of 105 developing countries has increased faster than the availability of food supplies. In order for a dynamic economy to be successful, there must be slower population growth. Failure to provide basic necessities to people such as food is liable to create social tension and risk the possibility of civil strife and unrest. Nowadays, food security is being viewed by governments as a national security issue.

Water:

Clean and safe drinking water is likewise facing the same tremendous pressure as food supplies. It is a vital resource and a basic necessity. For the same reasons related to food security, the pressures that population growth place on the availability of drinking water should be comprehensively addressed. Some analysts even foresee scenarios in the future that involve countries going to war over access to drinking water.

Biodiversity:

The biological diversity of the earth is vital for maintaining robust agricultural endeavors and medicine, and possibly, even for the maintenance of life itself on earth. Unfortunately, human actions are forcing thousands of animal and plant species into extinction. Of every three species, two are estimated to be experiencing a decline.

The manner in which humans opt to abuse or preserve the environment will likely be a major determinant in whether the standards for human living will rise or fall. Population increases, resource exploitation and urban expansion do not appear to be leading towards a strong and positive future. Unless sustainable development is practiced, humankind must face the consequences of an environment that is deteriorating and may even have to deal with ecological catastrophe.

Sustainable development should likewise factor in population growth as people are the prime consumers of natural resources. Many economists and environmentalists have agreed that slowing population growth is necessary to protect the biodiversity of the environment and improve living standards. A decrease in the population can reduce the impact on the environment and provide sustainable living standards.

Global Climate Change:

The result of burning fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions are ultimately causing warming at the surface of the earth. Should global temperatures increase as they are anticipated, sea levels will additionally rise by as much as several meters, resulting in flooding in many different regions. Worldwide increases in temperature may also create disruptions in agriculture and could also cause drought.

More than 12 million humans die every year as the result of poor sanitation and unclean water, primarily in those nations that are still developing. 3 million more individuals die each year as the result of air pollution. Contaminants such as heavy metals can cause a number of public health issues as well.

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What Needs to be Done

Slowing down the growth of the population in developing economies has become a popular approach to improve and preserve natural resources, which in turn would result in improvements in current living standards.

The goal of promoting a decrease in the population growth rate is that countries will have the means to invest in additional employment opportunities, better health care and better educational opportunities for its citizens, among other benefits for the people. All of which could improve the country's living standards, including effective management of resources needed for a dynamic economy. The process of slowing population growth as a means for improved living standards has been associated with a rapid growth and increased economic development in various Asian countries over a 30 year period.

I wish to stress here that we are talking about slowing down or decreasing population growth, not decreasing the population or controlling the population. some sectors are out to create a grim picture with regard to this issue. simply put, decreasing population growth means educating people to make smart, informed choices and providing them the means to make those decisions, particularly for women on whom this will have a significant impact.

There is no coercion or control here, this is about personal rights and empowerment, for people to be able to make informed decisions and choices on matters that will affect their well-being, health and quality of life.

This is what the Reproductive Health Bill is all about here in the Philippines. I would imagine it would be the same issue as well in similarly situated countries. Introduction of a Reproductive Health Bill is one of the means by which we can begin addressing the issues brought about by the impact of rapid population growth. Again, and this cannot be stressed often enough, this isn't simply about managing population growth. At its core,. it is about women's rights, our reproductive health and well-being. This is also about economic issues; poverty and our quality of life.

So enough already of the debates on this bill and on this issue. It is way past the time that this bill gets passed. So let's use some common sense here and consider the greater interest of women and of our country.

Frost Over the World - The Impact of Population Growth

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    • Anna Sternfeldt profile image

      Anna Sternfeldt 

      5 years ago from Svenljunga, Sweden

      Very important subject! I think the amount of people is severe problem, I think we actually just not only need to stop the increase, we need to reduce the amount of people. There are some scientists who actually say that the earth should only have 1 billion people to make it sustainable, and imagine we are 7 and will be 9 before the increase stops. What they have calculated is to for instance have balanced regrowth of trees, have healthy rainforest that keep the climate in balance. We can't keep up with the consumption of resources. People need houses, the houses are made of trees or stone and so on..it is an ongoing consumption of resources, it is not just about food. We need places for wildlife to keep the ecosystems in balance, as it is now we are pushing them away. I think what we do is really scary and it is our children and grandchildren who will suffer, not we. But we are the guilty ones.

    • profile image

      Gusser 

      6 years ago

      Progressives & Socialists will never "save the world". You have way to big of an ego to think that. Socialist Greece--FAILED, Socialist Italy--FAILED, Socialist Portugal--FAILED, Socialist Spain--FAILED. BUT if it's just done correctly it will work. Insanity is doing the same thing over & over expecting a different result. Capitalism, Creating business, Jobs are what works. We have some problems, Start a business & hire those who want to solve these problems. Ex: Hire teachers to go to these countries & teach about birth control--Hire farmers to teach them how to raise food. ETC-- People CAN take care of their own problems. Laws simply take away freedoms.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Sooner28, I dread the day of reckoning myself. Though it is more than likely that we probably won't be around anymore when this day comes, I dread its coming because I can't just help thinking about how our grandchildren and their children will be cursing our generation for the mess we've left them to clean up. That's why we have to start acting now.

    • profile image

      Sooner28 

      6 years ago

      Obstructionists will never stop. In a democracy, we just need to get a few more votes so the majority can save the human species!

      Some of these "debates" we are having right now will answer themselves as time goes on, with the side warning about all these problems "winning" (though this is not a debate I would ever WANT to win). When we don't stop climate change, or when we keep reproducing without any thought for the future, there will be a day of reckoning, and I just hope I am not alive when it occurs.

    • moiragallaga profile imageAUTHOR

      Moira Garcia Gallaga 

      6 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

      Sooner28, it is indeed good to know that there are people who are looking into the problem and are working hard to try to address the issues it raises. However, it's one thing to get people to wake up and realize the seriousness of the problem, it's another whole new challenge when there are sections of society who are actively blocking efforts to address the problem. This will not be easy. Thank you for your comments.

      alocsin, I can't recall that far back but it appears that the ball was dropped somewhere along the line back in those days. If serious efforts were sustained since way back then, I think the severity of the impact of population growth today wouldn't be so bad. I guess the opportunity to be proactive on this issue is now past. If attention is once again back on this issue, it is likely because things are already bad and what we can do now is more reactionary at this point. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your insights.

      BlissfulWriter, excellent point you make there. I think both problems go hand in hand. Rapid population growth somehow would have some form of impact on the climate. Wouldn't efforts to address both issues be more effective if they were viewed and tackled under one big picture as opposed to two distinct issues? Advocates for both issues could find common ground and pool resources for meaningful change to happen. Thanks for your comment.

      Gusser, you also make a good point. Population growth isn't bad per se, as long as it is manageable. People are resources too. Problem is more prevalent in developing countries where innovation, capital and opportunities to productively harness the population are sorely lacking. What happens instead is increasing pressure and tension in society as basic necessities become scarce and quality of life drastically deteriorate. Combining your suggestion with the implementation of sound policies that will effectively manage population growth to sustainable levels is a very good way forward on this issue. Thank you for your comments and insights.

    • profile image

      Gusser 

      6 years ago

      As the population increases, it provides opportunity to solve these created " problems". These solutions provide the needed jobs to help the world economies. IE Food shortage requires more farmers, or better farming procedures. Someone has to research, invent, produce better tools and equipment to facilitate the better farming. These problems have been used for political gain for years. Scare tactics. Instead, try to suggest solutions that would actually benefit mankind. After all, we need jobs & problems requiring solutions will provide those jobs.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 

      6 years ago

      Definitely something to be aware of. We also need awareness of global climate warming.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      The spectre of population growth was actually raised in the late sixties and early seventies but then somewhat forgotten. I'm glad that it's being addressed again today. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • profile image

      Sooner28 

      6 years ago

      I am so glad someone else is thinking about this. You are taking a realistic look at a potentially catastrophic problem. I just hope human beings wake up in time to stop it. Good post.

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